Christmas Photo booth Props


I’ve been into photography for years…from capturing vacations and holidays, to landscapes and candid moments. It’s my favorite keepsake and art form.

There’s a trend now of having photo booths at events…love this idea! And I also love the idea of making your own photo booth with backdrops and props. Earlier this fall I bought a photo booth props kit at Wal-mart for $5 and brought it in to work for the kids to use. It was lots of fun!

Now that Christmas is approaching, I thought it would be fun to have Christmas props. Here was the initial Pinspiration. I’m not a drawer so I searched Pinterest for a pattern and found someone who had also been inspired by the previous pin and had sketched the props.

Here are our props. I made them using the same card stock I use for scrapbooking:


Added glitter to the reindeer noses and party hats for a bit of sparkle:


And created a small backdrop with material from the dollar store:


The kids had fun with the props during our first photo shoot and I’m sure we’ll use them more as Christmas gets closer.


Pretzel Bites


This week I decided to tackle one of my first recipe pins: Pretzel bites!

Years ago I made soft pretzels a couple of times a year (delicious!) but haven’t made them in a couple of years. They’re a favourite mall snack of mine, so trying the bites was a great way of trying something new with a familiar treat 🙂

Here’s the Pinspiration

First step was to mix the water, sugar, yeast, and butter together.IMG_3068

The pictures end here for awhile because the recipe suggests mixing the dough with a dough hook. Since I don’t own a dough hook, I mixed the dough with my hands 🙂 and neglected the camera.

I won’t post the full recipe here, as the website does a great job of that.

Skipping ahead to after the dough has risen…

Divide the dough into 8 pieces:


Roll out each piece and cut into 1 inch “bites”:


Boil the bites for 30 seconds in a water and baking soda mixture:


Brush with an egg & water mixture, and sprinkle with salt (or cinnamon & sugar)


Bake & enjoy!


These were delicious! My taste testers devoured the first plate in minutes.

It suggests a cheese sauce, and although I didn’t make it this time, I would try it next time. I’m also interested in making cinnamon & sugar bites.

I did find the process to make these time consuming, even in comparison to making regular soft pretzels. I’ll have to make those again in the near future, to really compare the experiences. But from memory, I would say I would make pretzels again before making these.

Party Crossword


I’ve been creating, but overdue on posting – the good news is that I loved the results of my Pinterest inspired project this week!

Our sweet friend Sarah hosted a ‘Welcome to the World’ party for Evan with a few friends, and she filled it with an unbelievable number of personal, creative touches. I do believe love is in the details, and she sure made us feel uber loved! She brought to life a whole number of Pinterest inspired projects that we were inspired by. In fact, if I were the one who executed them, I would have weeks worth of completed Pinterest projects to post here… but since she did the creating, not I, this wouldn’t be the place for me to share. I did however do one of the projects myself, so lets get to it…

I created a giant crossword that all attendees could contribute to throughout the afternoon. I was inspired by this Pin from my Parties & Events Pinterest board – which happened to have been created and posted by my friend Sarah (though I didn’t know it at the time – crazy!)… I’m sure I repined it from her originally, but I didn’t know she was the originator at the time.

All the questions were facts about Evan and highlights of his first months of life. I called it: ‘Evan’s “All About Me” Crossword’. | From Pins to Projects

After coming up with the questions and answers, I plotted them into a crossword within Excel. Questions ranged from Evan’s nickname, to how many weeks early he arrived, to the name his 2.5 year old brother insisted we name him – “Jaguar Baby” (he has an extreme fascination and love of Jaguars right now…so cute), and many more – 14 questions in all.

It turned out that creating the base of the crossword in Excel was perfect as I was able to create the crossword boxes in perfect form. I saved the final version as a PDF, and opened the PDF within Photoshop. From there I made it pretty by layering in a few backgrounds and playing with the opacity. I used a fun font, and added a photo and chevrons that I was really digging – especially since they emphasized my categories of ‘down’ & ‘across’ – adding a perfect visual. | From Pins to Projects

I created it to fill the largest frame I had (14″x18″), and simply printed it at home on 8.5″x11″ paper. It came out in 4 pages, which I carefully trimmed and taped together on the backside of the pages, so the tape wouldn’t be seen. I then placed it into the frame so that the crossword answers could be written onto the glass with a wet erase marker. Before printing at home, I considered paying to have Staples print it on one larger piece of paper to avoid any seams, but they quoted $14 to do this, so I decided to try it myself first. As hoped, once assembled, the seams were barely noticeable and virtually disappeared once I put the crossword behind the glass of the frame (yay!). I even had one friend ask how I printed it so large. 😉 The frame then rested on an inexpensive table top easel that I picked up from Staples. | From Pins to Projects

It was a hit and a fun addition to the party, allowing guests to get to know our sweet baby boy.
Whenever I get around to creating the baby book that I’ve started designing *in my head*, I plan to include a smaller version of this crossword on one of the pages. …sigh, if only I had enough time to create all the *in my head* designs and projects. I pinned this quote to my Quotable Quotes board not too long ago and WOW, is it ever the reality I need to remind myself.
What quotes are ringing true for you lately?
What project would you create if time were no limitation?

Another Infinity Scarf!


After I made my first infinity scarf a few weeks ago, my mom asked if I would knit one for her. So, I decided to try another scarf from my knitting board on Pinterest.

Here’s the Pinspiration for this scarf.

This scarf was easy to knit (especially since i’m getting used to the process of knitting in the round).

I used the same needles as last time. This pattern requires you to count rows, but is still very simple. I’ll be knitting this scarf again!




Polka dot nail art


I’ve been into nail art for a year or so and have been pinning some artsy ideas to my nail art board on Pinterest. But I haven’t gotten around to purchasing the proper tools (dotters, nail tape) to actually attempt most of the pins.

Fellow Pinning Cousins poster katmer26 inspired me to attempt one of the ideas without the fancy tools 🙂

Here’s the Pinspiration:

I decided to go with Fall colors and painted a burgundy color as the main colour:


And a gold color as the accent on my ring finger nails:


Then I used an old (fake) pearl earring as my dotter (I wasn’t ready to commit to polka dots on all my nails so stuck to my accent nails). First red:


And then orange:


The earring worked well as a dotter (but I think I’ll still buy actual dotters for more variety of size).


Glass Jar Turned Soap Dispenser


This week I crafted a project that was inspired by one of the first pins I ever pinned… it’s been sitting on my Projects & Crafts I Love board for over 2 years! It’s a simple one, so here it goes…

I used a glass jar that I originally bought as a jar of coconut curry sauce, purchased from World Market. …The sauce sounded delicious (& it was), but I was also excited about the pretty & uniquely shaped glass jar that it came in. After enjoying the contents, and washing the jar and lid, I hammered a hole in the center of the lid and used pliers to make the opening fit my soap pump. By working on the opening slowly, I lucked out by not making it too large, thus the soap dispenser squeezed into place and held together tightly – eliminating any need for glue.

I started to paint the lid silver, but after the first coat shown here, I didn’t feel the two very different looking silvers looked good together, so I moved to plan B. | From Pins to Projects

I searched my craft cabinet hoard downstairs, and picked a blue/teal paint that was left from a prior project.
I painted four coats (until I was satisfied that I couldn’t see paint lines any longer), and then finished with a couple coats of sealer. Here’s an image of the materials I used. | From Pins to Projects

And it was done! | From Pins to Projects

I placed my finished project on the sink in our main bath prior to filling it with soap… just to feel it out to see if that’s the bathroom where it should live (the similar colored Glassybaby candle holder in the photo already resides there). Then a funny thing happened… J observed our new addition and our conversation went like this:

J: So I’m guessing you have that new soap pump there ’cause you like it?
Me: Why, you don’t like it?
J: Meh.
Me: I made it.
J: You made it? Oh. …Then a little bit of back tracking happened.

Bahaha… but that’s okay – truth is I’m not crazy about it either, but hey, I love to be creative and to be creative I need to be taking action, it doesn’t mean I’ll love everything I create. | From Pins to Projects

How about you? Have you recently completed a project that is just “meh”?